- UPnP was turned on but obviously didn't help. UPnP is made to automagically deal with such issues, especially gaming connectivity issues.
- From the Toolbox's "Game & Application Sharing" page I assigned Xbox Live to my Xbox 360's wireless adapter MAC address.
- Since none of the above has worked & after doing an extensive search on the internet, I found out that possibly the only hope for salvation was to put the Xbox 360's network interface in a DMZ (DeMilitarized Zone), by assigning the external IP address directly to it. Apparently the TG585v7 wouldn't handle correctly all things NAT.
Your internet provider assigns you an IP address, each time your modem powers on, it tries to obtain by DHCP (at least you explicitly asked for a static IP) a public address. This IP address is directly accessible/pingable from the intrenet. The devices in your home network don't have that address though. They get assigned private addresses and when they need to get to, or get accessed by, the internet, they are translated to the unique public address. This is what does the NAT protocol, which stands for Network Address Translation.
Ok, so this is what I did on the TG585. Under "Home Network", there is the option "Assign the public IP address of a connection to a device". That's when the modem started behaving in an eccentric way:
- the Xbox would normally get the external IP, but upon reboot of the modem, the rest of the workstations don't have internet connectivity anymore!
- upon shutdown of the Xbox, the external IP would mysteriously get assigned to my laptop or my desktop!
Something was going awfully wrong. At this moment I started having strong suspicions that the firmware was broken. A normal reaction would be to look on the web interface for an "Upgrade firmware" task or option. There is none. Thomson doesn't have a good reputation for providing firmware support for any of its modem routers. As a matter of fact, if you want to upgrade or downgrade it, you will have to search through the forums in order to locate the firmware that you need in some improbable location. And guess what? Since the web interface doesn't offer an Upgrade facility, you'll also need a wizard!
The modem was shipped with version 22.214.171.124. The days when I was investigating the problem, a new firmware version got unofficially distributed, v126.96.36.199. Eventhough most people in the forums were using 188.8.131.52 which had the reputation of being very stable, I decided to give the brand new version a try.
v184.108.40.206's origin was unidentified, and on the web interface's background there's was written "Demo Premium". Oh well, why not? The funny behaviour with the broken external IP handling is fixed in this one. My COD4 @ XBL problems were not! I still got the "Unable to connect to host" error message.
Two people from my XBL friend list had the same modem and they had no such issues, plus I could connect to them without problem, while I had trouble with most of the other players. They both had downgraded to version 220.127.116.11. One of them has even reported to me that his internet connection speed has peaked after the downgrade. Wow. As far as the XBL goes, one of them had to assign to the Xbox the public IP, the other had just to assign it to XBL through the "Game & Application Sharing" page.
I'm a COD4 addict and this situation was driving me crazy! As a last resort , I downgraded to version 18.104.22.168. In the beginning the wizard couldn't find the modem, but then I disabled my antivirus and it did. This version is specific to the UK, so some minor extra effort is required during initial configuration, but no big deal. I configured the Xbox through the "Game & Application Sharing" page, and then I tried inviting to a COD4 lobby a friend with which it was impossible to party up until then. It worked like a charm...
The TG585v7 is a good and stable modem router, but there are things broken between the old 7.* firmware releases and the new 8.* ones . Go figure! Thomson/Alcatel don't give a fuck about gamers? Totally! otherwise, the forums wouldn't be full of people trying to figure out what's wrong. In any case, firmware downgrade isn't something the average user would have to care about...
If you want to downgrade your TG585v7, grab the firmware and the wizard here: http://www.thomson.net/GlobalChinese/broadband-uk/Drivers-Firmwares/Pages/default.aspx . ADSL over ISDN and ADSL over PSTN flavours share the same firmware, so don't worry about bricking your modem by up/downgrading with the wrong one. I have the ADSL over ISDN version btw.
Ok, I hope that I may have helped a few desperate XBL gamers. If you happen to be a TG585v7 user, please share with us your positive or negative experience...
Panos Agoros 2009